THE OLD COWBOY Part Two
He said “Howdy, grand-boy. Me an’ this ol’ rocker been gettin’ better at
keepin’ each other comp’ny. You doin’ alright?”
“Yes sir, I’ll be gettin out 'a school soon and into summer. (“Oh YEAH!!!” I
yelled, jumped up and clicked my heals together all at the same time.) I’d
ride my bike over to the ‘HOME’ where he was, ‘cause he’s my pa’s pa, and he
was special to me. His hands were still like leather even though he’d not
ridden in quite a while.
“That looks like a pretty good bike ya got there young’n.”
“Yes sir! It’s a ‘Western Flyer’, and it goes like the wind. Sometimes it
even tries to buck me off,” I said with an eye to eye grin.
He spit and laughed and rocked ‘til I thought he’d split his side open. He
took the cane he used to walk, stood up and went over to the railing of the
porch, about five steps. He took that cane and pointed at my bike, still
giggling and asked if it had a name, that ‘wild thing’ there on the lawn.
“Yes sir, it’s ‘Tanner’, ‘Tanner Number Two’.
“I knew it,” he said. “That ol’ pony would act like he was gon'na throw me
just ever so often, ya know, just to keep me on my toes. Keep me strong and
alert, he wouldn’t let me get soft or slow. He could climb any ‘dang’ arroyo
or draw any cow or calf could. That ol’ ‘Tanner’ took me out lookin’. . .
and findin’ strays nobody even knew was missin’. It was like that with him,
like he was some kind 'a part bloodhound".
“My twenty second birthday was no big event when you’re movin’ cattle across
the prairie. You could get real wet when the gully-washers came, and they
always came. It was late afternoon”. . . . . . . .
To Be Continued . . .
THE OLD COWBOY Copyright © 2001